symbolism, modern and past psychology

What is a human being? What is life? Can science give us reliable answers to such questions? The electricity of life. The meaning of human consciousness. Are we alone? Are the traditional contests between science and religion still relevant? Does the word "spirit" still hold meaning today?

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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby StefanR » Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:16 am

mague wrote:Hello,

it boils down to the triangle of the solar plexus chakra then ?

Hi Mague,

I'm not sure how you mean that, the triangle of the heart chakra?
I'll try to fix something later about the interplay of the Dantien's
A dantien is the same as chakra, the one Chinese and the latter Indian
Dantien is usually translated as "elixer field" , which should give an idea
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby mague » Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:24 am

Grey Cloud wrote:Hi Mague,
Nice images of the opera house andthe Norns.
'Truth, beauty and the Good' is the essence of Plato's philosophy.

Re the Fates, the reason they are associated with prophesy is that they can 'read' the tapestry.
The Norns:

They lived in a womblike cave under Yggdrasill, the great ash that was the World Tree. Near their cave was the cosmic wellspring of life, destiny, and justice -- Urdarbrunnr, the "Well of Urd." ... berg2.html

Everything true, beautiful or good comes from the heart (the centre). It is Dionysus' heart which is rescued by Athene after he is dismembered by the Titans.

Hello Grey Cloud,

there is more. I thought the chakras and chinese teachings about chi descibe it best. A basic principle of traditional chinese medicine is, that a human body is build the same way as the cosmos. Much like the hermetic rule #1 says: As above so below.

The chinese system of meridiens can be very complex. But it is very similar to the chakras. Some people do think they both exist on different layers. The meridiens are on the edge of the 3D reality and and the energetic/spiritual world and the chakras are only in the energetic world. Quite a few insiders think they are connected. Personally i think they are connected and both systems merged are the full system.

Allright, with chi, meridiens and chakras we have all we need for a circuit :)

Each of our two legs has two meridiens. Those are the four pillars/wires the energy is flowing through. This is physical and energetic at the same time. On the physical side there is a force that keeps us standing and there is its anti-force. The flow of chi is similar, almost identical. I think we can think of the flowing stuff like its a thread as well.

Those four pillars are from the soles to the hips. In the hips the energy enters the root (using traditional chakra pictures)
The "programming" of this core is to create the world. Its a square or cube. Its creating our basic position within north, east, south, west, top and bottom. It is creating the space, the understanding of our existance within space. It is creating the 3D space. But its is already transforming the flowing energy and the nature of the understanding is sort of holographic. The "free" consciousness becomes bound to a body here and becomes individual.

This is where we enter the tunnel. And the light at the end of the tunnel is heaven. The once unbound consciousness wants to return home. But there are some obstacles on the way. One of them are the Norns ;) but not yet :)

The first obstacle is the sacral chakra.
Look at it as a round door that is rotating excentric. Just as the picture is showing it. Position is two fingers below the navel. The tread of consciousness has to pass the door to proceed on its journey. The problem is the excentric rotation and the speed its rotating. This cores programming has a strong connection to sexuality. Good sex is slowing it down and can even stop it for a while.
This is the point where we learn social values the first time. The programming of this core is the source of occult sexuality and every days sexuality. If we are not social, not able to learn the idea of being a duo, then one is using the other to jump through the door while leaving the other behind. The lesson is about universal love. There are other ways to pass the excenter door. Warrirorship, priesthood or other dedication to something else enable us to pass. But if we look close, we always have to deal with sexuality the one or other way. Many warriors and priests live celibacy for example.

Passing the excenter takes away our orientation. The excentric rotation is literally the up and down in our lives. The simple cube world got complex. We get a first idea of the crown, the chakra with the 10.000 lotus leaves. The world with its seemingly 10.000 possibilities. The free will is born. And the next chkra is about the will.

The solar plexus is about will and about navigating with our will. This chakra are the Norns :) See the triangle :) Why is it about navigation ? Because the next obstacle is the heart. The heart is a very narrow bridge from the square created world to the lower heaven. The bridge is the point of no return. It is also about belief. Knowledge alone doesnt do it. It requires belief to pass it.

A good picture is the ZEN archer. The hand on the string is the past, the hand on the bow is the present and the arrows head is the future. Once the arrow is shot there is no return and it will hit somewhere on the target/lotus witht he 10.000 leaves. Hiting the right spot or not, thats the question ;) The master can not neglect belief. He can use all technique and skill, once the arrow is shot he needs belief, because while flying the arrow is not under his control anymore. A butterfly could alter its path, a breeze could alter its path. He has to belief that the rest of the universe will accept and not alter his choosen flight path.

In that regard it is not about truth OR beauty OR good. It is about finding the right target. If we have to decide and have multiple "things" which are true or beautiful or good, then we have to look which one has all three atributes. There is a lot ugly truth or good and beautiful but fake. THose are not the target we are looking for.
The norns teach us about the center of the heart. The first idea of "ne plus ultra", the godly. I do prefer the chakras, because its the only system with the excentric rotating door. All others seem to be a bit shy of sexuality, be it greeks or germans. Thats why they see the norns as females. Truth is that male and female energy is involved before the thread is entering the domain of the norns. Beyond the excentric gate there is no male of female, there is only human.

But they are in a womb like cave under Yggdrasill indeed. It is one hand above the navel and under the heart. The heart is the roots of Yggdrasill, because from her eon the energy is growing into the heavens.

This is the heart.
See the roots in the triangle that is pointing up and the trees crwon in the triangle pointing down ?
See a tree

Ok, thats the "earthly" part. I ll stop here and maybe post about the upper part later.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Joe Keenan » Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:20 pm

Grey Cloud wrote:Hi Mague,
You wrote:
Now, why does the cross fit well into the quadrangle ? Probably because the cross is a good mental form to hold balance while "something" tries to compromise your corners.
Something to do with this?

Here's an interesting little article which illustrates the difference between ancient psychology and its modern version:
"The Divergent Uses of Greek Philosophical Terms. By Platonic Philosophy and Modern Psychology:
Two Illustrations" [daimon and psyche] ... terms.html

[You were correct about the 3 Moon phases. I discovered that the Greeks only had 3 phases -new face, full face and old face] ... nysus.html
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:49 am

Hey Joe,
Interesting about the gold plate being a 'forgery' but it does not alter the symbolism. In other words, its alleged date may be false but the symbolism isn't. The realtionship of Orpheus/Dionysus story to that of Jesus is not evolutionary, i.e. the latter did not evolve from the former (whether by direct plagiarism or not). Rather, the two stories are variations on a theme and tell, via the symbolism, a similar story adapted to the time and place of the telling.
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby StefanR » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:10 am

Mague wrote:Ok, thats the "earthly" part. I ll stop here and maybe post about the upper part later.

Thanks Mague, very interesting, I'm a little short in time right now, but you have given a nice start. 8-)

Also thanks to Joe keenan for the link, and I'll have to agree with GC here.
Personally I think by calling all else then Christian, Pagan shows a little of the mindset of the maker of the site.
Pikachu says: "I want to believe even to the point of closing my eyes for the obvious".
Personally I think his defensive stance hurts his objectivity, symbology is not literalisme, which in my view is one of the big weakpoints of folks with a religion of "a Book", and that is either three of them.
So nice try Pikachu but you fail in your mission, your just a little too obtuse.
Thanks for the link anyway Joe. 8-)
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:31 am

Hi Stefan,
Don't know if you saw Joe's other link here:
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1709 but it might be more up your street. See what you think of the author's understanding of Plato.
His ideas tie-in somewhat with the Oera Linda book and the sinking of Atland. ;)
If I have the least bit of knowledge
I will follow the great Way alone
and fear nothing but being sidetracked.
The great Way is simple
but people delight in complexity.
Tao Te Ching, 53.
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Location: NW UK

Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby Joe Keenan » Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:00 pm

Grey Cloud, There's plenty of evidence to to the contrary (regarding the derivative nature of the aforementioned belief systems) see:

for a more scholarly refutation. Christ is without a doubt the best documented personage in ancient history, near contemporaneous accounts regarding Him exist (the Gospels, Early Church Fathers). There's a lot less evidence for the existence of other genuinely accepted historical personages, for example, the earliest extant reference to Alexander the Great is some 400 ears after his death, do you doubt Al existed? See also,

one of the best sites I've seen, check out his links at the bottom of the page
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby StefanR » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:06 pm

Mague wrote:Ok, thats the "earthly" part. I ll stop here and maybe post about the upper part later.

Below I have tried to make an as short as possible "earthly" part, and also the upper will be a little later, and perhaps after that the hellenic side as well

The holistic concept that "nature and man form an organic whole" is the core of the theoretical basis for both traditional Chinese medicin and qigong.
Qi is the medium which connects man with all things in the universe. One of the purposes of qigong exercises is to strengthen this connection so as to make man better adapted to nature. The human body itself is also an organic whole, with all its parts interrelated to one another.
However, there are certain key points on the body which have important barings on its overall functions.

The theory of yin and yang is a foundation stone for traditional Chinese medicine and ancient ways of preserving health, qigong included. Everything has its yin and yang aspects, the human body for instance has its yin and yang aspects. Imbalance between yin and yang in the body would result in ailment. As far as man's relations with nature is concerned, there is yang qi existing outside the body and yin qi circulating within it. The purpose of qigong exercises is to achieve a better balance of yin and yang not only within the body, but also between the body and the external world.

The ancient theory of the five elements provides concrete explanations between different parts of the human body. All things on earth, including human beings, can be resolved into these five elements, which move through the sheng (creation) and ke (containment) cycles in their reciprocal relations.

The jingluo system is understood in Chinese medical science as a network of passages through the body, through which energy and information are transmitted from one part of the body to another. The longitudonal channels are called jing and the lateral ones, luo. Each channel is punctuated by a number of acupuncture points. The jingluo channels serve as passages through which qi and blood circulate, and have a close baring on one's physiological condition. The acupoints along these channels are vital spots where qi and blood converge and disperse.

The concept of zangfu is a theoretical basis of both traditional Chinese medicine and the science of health care. The term zang refers to the five "solid organs" (heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys) and fu means the six "hollow organs" (gallbladder, stomach, small and large intestines, bladder and the "triple warmer" (whose function represents the summation of those of the zang and fu organs). The main function of the zang organs is to store basic life-sustaining substances such as jing, qi and shen and blood, while the six fu organs are responsible for taking in fresh things and getting rid of stale matter, and for transformning foodstuffs for the replenishment of jing, qi and shen . The purpose of qigong is to cultivate jing, qi and shen.

Jing, qi and shen are regarded as the "three treasure" in the human body and form the main constituants of human life. Jing forms the material base of human life, divided in prenatal jing and postnatal jing. The two types of jing are interdependent. Qi is an infinitisimal substance by which the human body is nourished. It is the basic substance that sustains life, and is vital to the function of the internal organs. Qi exists in different forms and performs different functions in different parts of the body. The most important type of qi is yuan qi (primordial) and zhen qi (genuine). Shen is the generalization of consciousness and all other forms of life activities. All mental and physical activities, including seeing, hearing, speaking, thinking and bodily movements, are manifestations of shen.
Jing, qi and shen are inseparably linked with one another. Qi is produced from jin, the production of jing, in turn, depends on the action of qi, while the production of qi is expressive of shen. The realtionship between the three may be summarized with the following words,,
jing - the base, qi - the driving force, shen - the guiding factor.
Jing, qi and shen are the very basic objects to be achieved in qigong practise, the aim of which is to gather jing, nourish qi and preserve shen, all contributing to good health.

There are countless methods of practicing Chinese qigong, though they all emphasize the need to "enter into a state of tranquility", which is closely associated with the three basic aspects of qigong, that is, regulating of the mind, regulating of respiration and regulating of the body. By tranquility, we mean an extraordinary quiet, calm, relaxed, comforable state achieved through a high degree of mental concentration. It is a peculiar mental state in which the performer seems to be severd from all external stimuli while retaining a certain level of awareness, a trance-like condition that is different from both the ordinary state of consciousness and sleep. In essence, it is caused by steadily deepening inhibition of the cerebral cortex when exitation dominates the ascending reticular activating system. Such a peculiar integration of inhibition and excitation is a kind of complex conditioned reflex built through repeated efforts of self-induction.

While the state of tranquility has much to do with appropriate body postures and methods of breathing, it is closely related to regulation of the mind. What we mean by the word "mind" here is the seat of consciousness by which one thinks, percieves, feels, wills, etc. At ordinary times, an adults mind engages in in a lot of thinking in abstract terms or in terms of images. When one enters into tranquility, concrete thinking based on the senses becomes dominant. Such "sensory thought" is quite different from what it is when one is in a state of activity. Ordinarily sense perceptions are reflections of external stimuli acting on various receptors, and therefore passive in nature. In other words, there can be no perceptions without external stimuli. But when practicing qigong, one is advised to go to a quiet place and close the eyes in preparation and concentrate on oneself. If one also clears the mind of all distracting thoughts, then one is also clear of internal stimuli as well. With the absence of both external and internal stimuli, how do the sense perceptions come about?
The answer is, all the sensations you feel when you are in a state of tranquility come from your own will, they are something induced by your mental power. To be sure, your initial sensation of relaxation and calmness has something to do with the quiet surrounding and your comforable body posture, but the deepening of such a sensation is primarily the result of your self-suggestion. This is even more true of the sensation of "supreme void and quiescence", since such a sensation can never be experienced in real life and can be realized only through subjective induction.

Thus we can see that regulation of the mind during the state of tranquility is a psychological process that can be mastered. While the ability to enter the state of tranquility is aquired through conscientious training, the attainment of the state of tranquility is a natural process of unconscious development. Here the word "natural" needs to be emphasized because any uneasy efforts are bound to run against the aim of achieving tranquility. The degree of tranquility and the time needed for its attainment vary with the condition of each individual, the type of exercise he practices, and the lenght of time he has spent practising it. The degrees of tranquility are generally graded into three levels, light, intermediate and profound.

One of the common ways of achieving tranquility during qigong exercise is to focus ones thinking on a selected part of ones body so as to dispell all other thoughts. The most frequent used parts are the three dantian regions, upper dantian (around the glabella between the eyebrows), middle dantian (around xiphoid in the pit of the stomach), and lower dantian (in the lower abdomen).

The word dantian, literally meaning "elixer field" is derived from the ancient practice of alchemy which sought to discover the elixer of perpetual youth by smelting and refining certain minerals. During qigong practice, people in earlier times experienced a peculiar sensation of warmth in their lower abdomen when they tried to achieve relaxation and tranquility by focussing on that part of the body. Since different people may get the warm sensation in different parts of the body, there are diverse opinions about the location of dantian. However, it is generally acepted that there three dantian regions, upper, middle and lower dantian. According to traditional Chinese medicine , the "three treasures" in the body -- jing, qi and shen -- are stored in the lower, middle and higher dantian respectively. Of the three dantian regions, the most important is the lower dantian, which houses several important internal organs and is the hub of many channels and vessels through which blood and qi flow.
It is the fountainhead of energy for the sustenance of life.
Dantian has much to do with mental concentration, an important procedure in qigong, as focus of attention it serves an effective catalyst for bringing about a deep state of mental tranquility. As one keeps concentrating on dantian and clear ones mind of all distracting thoughts, one creates a focus of excitation in the cerebral cortex and gradually strenghtens it while deepening the inhibition in other parts of the cortex. This contributes to the formation of a kind of protective inhibition that is of therapeutic value.
The cerebral cortex is the most important part of the nervous system. When in a state of qigong tranquility, the brain is under a peculiar condition different from that of normal repose, sleep or hypnosis. This condition, which involves active inhibition in the cerebral cortex, contributes to the regulation, restoration and improvement of the crebral function. Improved cerebral function has a positive effect on the hypothalamus-pituary-adrenal axis, which has a direct bearing on the vegetative nervous system. When a qigong performer is in a state of tranquility, the excitability of the sympathetic nervous system is reduced and that of the parasympathetic system is enhanced to benefit the whole organism.

Admittedly, we do find people who make a mystery of qigong for immoral purposes.
Some purposely exaggerate the effects of their qigong methods to fish for fame and compliments. Some even declare themselves to be possessed with esoteric arts that can cure all diseases. Some describe the appearance of hallucinatory images, a common occurence in qigong practice, as ghosts making their presences felt. Making a fetish of qigong, some devotees would burn incense and kowtow to deities when they exercise. Such practices are superstitious and should be discouraged.

While discarding the dross and retaining the essential of qigong, we should be prudent in dealing with things we find hard to comprehend. Wether a thing is genuine or false can be determined by specific means. We must proceed from objective reality, not from set principles or common sense. The scientific knowledge we have already mastered is only relative truth in the endless flow of absolute truth. Science is not only to solve problems already known to us, but also to probe into what is unknown . Only then can science be continuously developed. Such is the approach we should adopt in our effort to unravel the mystery.
(Chinese Qigong Essentials -Cen Yuefang)
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby seasmith » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:56 pm

Stephan wrote:

... LaoCloud, I shall try to give some Tao by Cleary ...

If i may intercede, for the impending enlightenment of the 'Grey One", via Cleary:

"Those who do not understand are externaly fixated on body,mind, society, and events: and they inwardly dwell on sensations, conceptions, actions, and consciousness.
Therefore they change along with the world, are born and perish along with forms.

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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby seasmith » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:36 pm

Mague wrote:

... chakras of an entity are individual. I wasnt taught about them by humans, so my understanding might be a bit different.

May i inquire, who taught you ?

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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby StefanR » Fri May 01, 2009 3:43 pm

History of Neuroscience
Soul, mind, brain: Greek philosophy and the birth of neuroscience

This is a survey of the contribution of Greek philosophy and medicine to the development of original concepts about the nature of soul, the faculties of mind, and the structure and function of the brain. At the end of this study we wish to single out three issues, which in our opinion, represent the greatest achievements transmitted by Greek thinkers to later generations of neuroscientists.
Firstly, Hippocrates’ conception of human brain. As early as the fifth century B.C.E., this pioneer physician had already worked out an astounding and absolutely modern view of brain functions. Indeed, the brain was not only considered the seat of intelligence, sensory perception and motor control but it was also regarded as the source of pleasure and pain, the origin of emotions, and the font of moral judgment and aesthetic experiences.
Secondly, Plato’s tripartite conception of human soul. According to this notion, each part of the soul localized to different body sites and was linked to distinct anatomical structures. Although partly derivative and not central in the Greek biological and medical tradition, this hierarchical, highly ideological subdivision, with the brain in a pre-eminent position, was an organic attempt to distinguish different psychic faculties and tolink them to specific structures. We can establish a tentative relationship between the diverse soul species identified by Plato and the functional properties of distinct neural compartments as clarified by modern investigation. In this context, the rational soul would correspond to neocortical functions whilst the emotional soul would be more related to limbic activity.The vegetative soul would partly correspond to the hypothalamus and the peripheral autonomic nervous system.
The third most admirable contribution is to be found in Herophilus’ and Erasistratus’ discoveries. The modern approach to the dissection of the nervous system, the clear description of many neuroanatomical structures, the identification of cranial and spinal nerves and the fundamental distinction between sensory and motor nerves represented the legacy of these great researchers to the development of neuroscience.
Worth of particular mention was Erasistratus’ hypothesis of a possible relationship between the intelligence of man and the number and complexity of the convolutions of his brain. Regrettably, this remarkable observation was scornfully discarded by Galen, who claimed that even the ass’ brain presented numerous convolutions. In Galen’s pneumatic physiology it was the psychic pneuma to be endowed with the properties now attributed to neurons [37,38]. Had Erasistratus’ conjecture been further and properly investigated, the history of neuroscience could have run a different way.
The weight of Greek heritage was enormous. The controversy between encephalocentrists and cardiocentrists continued well into Renaissance and beyond. It often took the form of a contention between Galenism and Aristotelism. Still in 1628, Harvey (1578–1657) wrote in De motu cordis et sanguinis in animalibus that the heart was the centre and the sun of the body microcosm and the source of sensitive, motor and vegetative life [25]. He was in polemic with the encephalocentric view of his master Hieronymus Fabricius of Acquapendente (1533–1619) who, in De musculi actione, claimed that the brain
was the primary motor because it caused movement but it was unmoved.
In 1553, 75 years before Harvey’s statement, the Spanish mystical physiologist Miguel Servetus (1511–1553) had reasserted the primacy of the heart and claimed that the blood was the seat of human soul. Aristotelian cardiocentric theories were harshly fought by the Galenist physician Jean Fernel (1497–1558) who defined them an unbelievable delirium (“deliratio incredibilis”) [12]. These conflictual points of view testify how the dispute between encephalocentrism and cardiocentrism was still alive at the beginning of the modern scientific era.

The ancient theory of 'animal spirits' (pneuma psychikon in Greek; spiritus animalis in Latin) was first proposed by Alexandrian physicians in the third century BCE. Animal spirits were thought to be weightless, invisible entities that flowed through the hollow nerves to mediate the functioning of the body. The animal spirits theory was related to the notion of the four humours (blood, phlegm, and yellow and black bile), and was popularised by the Roman physician Galen (c. 129 -216) in the second century AD. Because of Galen, animal spirits dominated thinking about the nervous system for 1,500 years; they were exorcised very recently - it was only during the latter part of the 18th century that investigators began to decipher the electrochemical language of the nervous system.

Galen believed that nutrients were absorbed by the liver, which produced 'natural spirits'. These were transported to the left ventricle of the heart, which transformed them into vital spirits; these in turn were carried to the brain by the carotid arteries, and again transformed into animal spirits when mixed with inhaled air ("pneuma") in the cerebral ventricles, or in a plexus of blood vessels at the base of the brain which Galen called the rete mirable ('wonderful net'). Animal spirits were thought to be stored in the ventricles of the brain until needed, and then transported through the hollow nerves to force the muscles into action, or to carry sensory impressions. Animal spirits were also believed to flow into the brain, which was by then considered the seat of intellect (which consisted of the imagination, cognition and memory). ... pirits.php



Standards of Health

Before we can begin to understand and treat disease, which is a deviation from the normal, healthy state of the body, we must first have a clear and definite picture of exactly what constitutes its healthy, normal state. And so, Greek Medicine begins with a study of the Seven Natural Factors, which constitute the standards of health and normalcy for the human organism.

These are:
The Four Elements - what the body is made of.
The Four Humors - the metabolic agents of the Four Elements, the proper balance and confluence of which constitutes health, and the imbalance of which constitutes disease.
The Four Temperaments - the qualitative yardsticks by which health and homeostasis, or deviation therefrom, are measured; the basis of constitutional medicine.
The Four Faculties - the basic functions of the organism, and the essential functions of Life.
The Vital Principles - the energies and essences that give life to the organism.
The Organs and Parts - the basic units or components of the body, and how they function.
The Forces, or Administering Virtues - the four principal vectors of all bodily functions.

Yin and Yang, Greek Style

A strong dualism runs through classical Greek science and medicine, which sees all cycles, manifestation and phenomena in the natural world as resulting from the dynamic interplay of opposite yet complementary forces and qualities. Although many such qualities may be observed interacting in Nature, Aristotle concluded that four of them, or two pairs of opposites, were more central and important than all the others: Hot, Cold, Dry and Wet. These he called the Four Basic Qualities.
The Hot / Cold polarity is called active or primary because it drives all change and manifestation and causes or produces the other two qualities.
The Dry / Wet polarity is called passive or secondary because they are usually caused by the active, primary qualities.
Both Hot and Dry are qualities that the Chinese would call Yang. They are closely associated with each other because heat evaporates moisture, producing dryness.
Both Cold and Wet are qualities that the Chinese would call Yin. They are closely associated with each other because cold condenses moisture, producing wetness.

What the Body is Made Of

In classical Greek science and medicine, the Four Elements are the basic constituents of all matter. Everything in the universe is composed of the Four Elements, in varying proportions and amounts. The elemental composition of a substance determines its particular nature and attributes, properties and actions.
The Four Elements are Fire, Air, Earth, and Water.
The Four Elements formed the classical Greek conception of the universe, as follows:
At the center of our world is the Earth, as the planet we live on, the ground and support beneath our feet. Because of Earth's great heaviness and density, all things gravitate towards it.
Running over and around the Earth is Water, in the form of lakes, rivers, and oceans. Water fertilizes and impregnates the Earth, giving it Life.
Over the spheres of Earth and Water is that of Air, the atmosphere in which we live, move and have our being. Air's essence is exchange, contact and movement. All living things need Air to breathe.
And finally, Fire lights up the Sun, Moon, and stars in the celestial firmament. Fire has brilliance and spirit, and symbolizes the Life Force within us.
The human body and each of its constituent parts is also composed of the Four Elements, in varying proportions. The basic distribution and arrangement of the elements in the human body, or microcosm reflects that of the macrocosm of Nature.

Some Greek medical philosophers include a fifth element, which is Space, or Ether. It is the lightest, subtlest and most refined of all the elements. Plato called it Prima Materia, or the primal source, womb or matrix from which all matter arises and manifests. Ether could be called matter on the verge of manifestation, or the space that allows matter to exist.

Agents of Metabolism

The Four Humors are the metabolic agents of the Four Elements in the human body. The right balance and purity of them is essential to maintaining health. The Four Humors and the elements they serve are as follows:
All four of these humors, or vital fluids, are present in the bloodstream in varying quantities:
Blood, or the Sanguine humor, is the red, hemoglobin-rich portion.
Phlegm, or the Phlegmatic humor, is present as the clear plasma portion.
Yellow Bile, or the Choleric humor, is present as a slight residue or bilirubin, imparting a slight yellowish tint.
Black Bile, or the Melancholic humor, is present as a brownish grey sediment with platelets and clotting factors.


The Basis of Constitutional Medicine

The Four Temperaments are the basic constitutional bodymind types of Greek Medicine. Each one is named after a certain humor, and is characterized by the predominance of that humor and its associated basic qualities.
The Four Temperaments are the basic of all constitutional notions of diagnosis and treatment in Greek Medicine. Know your constitutional type and you know how to eat, live and medicate yourself properly for optimum health maintenance and disease prevention.
Each of the Four Temperaments can be recognized by certain basic traits of physique, physiology, digestion and metabolism, personality and character.


The Basic Functions of Life

Galen was a brilliant physician and anatomist who contributed much to Greek Medicine's understanding of the organs and systems of the human body and how they function. His chief contribution in this area was his doctrine of the Four Faculties.
The Four Faculties of the organism, and their principal functions and organs, are as follows:
Vital Faculty - Vitalizes the organism, enabling it to function; coordinates whole body responses. Governs respiration, circulation, cellular metabolism and the immune response.
Principal Organ - Heart
Natural Faculty - Feeds the organism, enabling it to grow and regenerate its physical structure. Governs digestion, metabolism, nutrition and growth.
Principal Organ - Liver
Psychic Faculty - Intelligence, awareness, perception. Stimulus and response. Enables the organism to respond to its environment in the interests of self preservation.
Principal Organ - Brain
Generative Faculty - Reproduction, procreation. Propagates the species in service of the continuance of Life.
Principal Organ - Gonads


The Energies of Life

The human body and all its faculties, organs and systems function on energy, which is distilled, generated and supplied by the organism itself. Without energy to animate it, there is no life.
There are two basic types of energy in the human organism: kinetic and thermal. Kinetic energy is responsible for all function and movement, whereas thermal energy is responsible for all digestion, metabolism and transformation. Life requires both kinetic and thermal energy.
Greek Medicine calls kinetic energy Pneuma, or the Breath of Life. Pneuma is similar to what Chinese Medicine calls Qi and yoga and Ayurveda call Prana.
Greek Medicine calls thermal energy Ignis, which is Latin for Fire. Ignis is similar to what Chinese Medicine calls Yang or Huo and to what yoga and Ayurveda call Agni.
As they are generated, and subsequently flow and are distributed throughout the various faculties and systems of the organism, both Pneuma and Ignis assume various forms. The essence of these vital energies remains the same, but the functions they are adapted to perform change.

The Three Forms of Pneuma

Pneuma, or the Breath of Life, is initially extracted from the air we breathe by the lungs, which then send this raw pneuma to the heart. There, it is combusted and infused into the blood, assuming a very potent and concentrated form. This is the Pneuma zoticon, or Vital Force, which is the basic, primal form of pneuma in the organism.
In the liver, the Vital Force is changed into Pneuma physicon, or the Natural Force, which is the basic form of pneuma for the Natural Faculty. When the liver infuses this Natural Force into the Four Humors upon their generation, this Natural Force is then differentiated into four different subforms, called the Four Administering Virtues
In the brain, the Vital Force is changed into the Pneuma psychicon, or Psychic Force, which is the basic form of pneuma for the Psychic Faculty. You could also call it Nerve Force. Being closest to the psyche, or indwelling soul in its nature, the Psychic Force also has the attributes of intelligence, awareness, and consciousness. The Psychic Force is responsible for all sensation and perception, thought and cognition, and movement and response to stimuli.
In the Generative Faculty, the basic, primal form of pneuma, the Vital Force, is used to spark and germinate a new life.

The Three Forms of Ignis

Ignis is responsible for all digestion, metabolism and transformation in the organism - in other words, pepsis. Like pneuma, ignis also has three basic forms in the organism. Since Air is necessary to combust Fire, ignis is the product of pneuma.
Ignis is first combusted in the heart, along with the Vital Force. There, it assumes its basic, primal form in the organism: the Ignis zoticon, or Innate Heat. This is the basic body heat emitted by all the organs and tissues of the body due to cellular metabolism.
The Innate Heat, along with the Vital Force, is carried by the blood to all the organs and tissues of the body to power cellular metabolism. From there, throughout the organism, these two twin forces, ignis and pneuma, are never far apart.
In the liver, the Innate Heat is converted into the Metabolic Heat, or Ignis physicon, which powers all pepsis in the Natural Faculty. Together with the Natural Force, the Metabolic Heat generates the Four Humors. The Metabolic heat cooks or concocts the humors in a process of pepsis, whereas the Natural Force gives the humors their functions and actions.
In the brain, the Innate Heat is converted into the Psychic Heat, or Ignis psychicon, which powers all psychic pepsis, or the digestion, assimilation and processing of thoughts, ideas and experiences. The Psychic Faculty is the coldest in temperament of all the faculties, so the Psychic Heat is more subtle and latent than blatant or obvious.
In the Generative Faculty, the basic, primal form of ignis, the Innate Heat, is used as the catalyst to spark a new life.


And the Lamp of Life

Greek Medicine recognizes four basic vital principles that give life and health to the whole organism. The first three have already been discussed, and are products of the Vital Faculty:
The Vital Force
The Innate Heat
The fourth vital principle is the quintessence or distillate of the Natural Faculty and its Four Humors. In many ways, it's the complement or counterpart of the first three vital principles. It's called the Radical Moisture. It could also be called the nutritive, hormonal essence of the organism.

Properties and Functions of the Radical Moisture

The Radical Moisture has several important and distinctive properties and functions:
The Radical Moisture nourishes the organism on a deep and fundamental level. It gives nutritive power to the humors, especially the moist, flourishing Phlegmatic and Sanguine humors, which predominate in bulk and nutritive importance to the organism.
The Radical Moisture guides the growth, development and maturation of the organism over the long term. These include sexual development and reproductive flowering or maturation. The other vital principles and the Four Humors handle the day-to-day functioning and nutrition of the organism, but the Radical Moisture guides it over the long term.
The Radical Moisture gives nutritive finish, polish, completion and integrity to the organs and tissues. It also endows them with basic, nonspecific immune resistance. Immunologically, the Radical Moisture underlies humoral immunity, whereas Thymos empowers vital immunity, or the immune response.
The Radical Moisture is the hormonal essence of the organism. It is centrally and deeply involved in all the anabolic growth processes of the organism, which are the function of the endocrine glands and their hormones. You could also call the Radical Moisture the vital marrow or sap of the organism.
The Radical Moisture and its quality are responsible for our basic mental and spiritual traits. Besides growth and developmental disorders, defects in the Radical Moisture can create imbecility, mental retardation, and defects of character and intelligence. The Radical Moisture is the essence of the life lived, and what gives it purpose and direction.
The Radical Moisture is the anchor that gives the functions of the other vital principles stability, focus, grounding and persistence. As the Yin anchor and complement to the other vital principles, the Radical Moisture is necessary to enable the organism to attain a quiescent state of sleep or rest. It also supports, and is regenerated by, the vegetative functions of the organism.
The Radical Moisture forms the genetic code or procreative seed that is passed on from parent to offspring. At conception, each parent contributes a portion of their Radical Moisture to form a new life. In this sense, the Radical Moisture is the essence of the Water element, which is the original source of life.

The Origin and Metabolism of the Radical Moisture

The initial, most important and greatest portion of the Radical Moisture that we receive in life was given to us by our parents at the moment of conception. It determines the overall quality, character and longevity of our life. Over the course of our life, we replenish the Radical Moisture somewhat, but in a much more partial and imperfect way.
The Radical Moisture that we replenish ourselves with after birth is the quintessence of the Four Humors, or the end product of digestion and metabolism. To ensure optimum quantity and quality of the Radical Moisture, we must eat a balanced, wholesome, nutritious diet, and we must keep our digestive systems and pepsis functioning optimally.
The Radical Moisture has a symbiotic relationship with the Innate Heat, which it needs to function and unfold properly, much as Fire releases the fragrance of incense, or the petals of a flower unfold under the lifegiving heat of the sun. But the Radical Moisture is also like the oil in a lamp, and the Innate Heat like the lamp's flame. The flame lives by consuming the oil, and will eventually consume it entirely. Such, regrettably, is the inherent nature of life.

The clearest Greek ideas on the chakras come from Plato, who writes about them in his dialogue Timaeus. Basically, Plato considered the chakras to be subtle organs that the soul, or psyche uses to relate to the gross physical body.
According to Plato's philosophy, the soul has three basic parts, or levels of expression:
Nous or Logos - This is the highest part or level of soul expression, which Plato called the psyche, or immortal soul. Its attributes are reason, wisdom and spiritual insight. It finds expression through the Crown and Brow centers.
Thymos - This is the middle level of soul expression, or what Plato called the mortal soul. Its basic attributes are passion, fight and drive. It finds expression through the middle three chakras: the Throat, Heart and Gastric centers.
Epithymia - This is the level of desire and instinct, and is the lowest level of soul expression. It is also concerned with basic survival needs and appetites, and finds expression through the two lowest chakras: the Generative and Root centers. ... icine.html

hearts and minds
The heart in Greek medicine and philosophy.

However, it was characteristic for the argumentative nature of Greek medicine that there was widespread disagreement about this issue, and rival views continued to have their advocates. Several medical writers and philosophers, such as Empedocles, attributed a major role to the blood as the intelligent and life-giving substance in the body. And there was also the encephalocentric theory, defended not only by the Hippocratic author quoted above but also by the philosopher Plato. Plato distinguished three ‘parts’ of the soul – mind, spirit and desire – which he located in the brain, the chest and the belly respectively.
Yet while Plato and the Hippocratic writers based their views largely on speculation and on occasional findings derived from animal anatomy, a more ‘scientific’ view emerged when Greek physicians in 3rd-century BCE Alexandria dissected the human body and discovered the nervous system. Their views were more fully developed by the Roman authority Galen in the 2nd century CE, who in a series of experiments on animals showed that it was the brain that was the origin of the nerves and the centre of sensation, consciousness, speech and intelligence, thus depriving the heart of any cognitive significance.

Yet Galen’s experiments were not sufficient to persuade the Aristotelians and Stoics, who continued to stress the central role of the heart. For emotions, they argued, also have a cognitive aspect to them, just as beliefs and thoughts are often accompanied by feelings of pleasure and pain.

In order to account for this, Greek medicine characteristically resorted to two speculative ideas: the concept of pneuma or ‘spirit’, a kind of delicate airy substance within the body that was believed to mediate between the brain and the heart, between thoughts and emotions, and to be responsible for the translation of ‘mental’ states into ‘physical’ action and vice versa; and ‘sympathy’ (sympatheia), a notion that was called in to account for the simultaneous emotional experiences in different bodily parts, and which proved to be a very useful concept to refer to psychosomatic connections that escaped empirical validation.

Today, modern medicine has little time for concepts such as ‘spirit’ or ‘sympathy’. Yet the Ancient Greek view of the heart and viscera’s role in our emotional states remains deeply embedded in popular culture. We still, apparently, make decisions with our heart as well as our head. ... 023667.htm

Martial Art of Classical Greece

Contrary to popular perception, fighting arts are not exclusively an Asian phenomenon, but exist in practically every culture and across all historical time-frames. It is doubtful if any people, anywhere on earth, ever lacked completely for some kind of combative techniques with which to fight savage nature or their sometimes-more savage fellowmen. Moreover, beliefs and practices that Europeans and North Americans associate with Asian combative systems often find their counterparts in western fighting methods. The kiai (shout) of the Japanese martial artist is similar in purpose and scope to the war-cries of many non-Asian peoples such as Africans, Amerindians, Celts, Greeks, Romans and Slavs, while the concept of chí or ki can be found readily in the Grecian belief in pneuma (air, breath, spirit), an inner power which burns brightly inside each human and, when properly used, can aid them in attaining superior physical results. Greek and Roman pugilists frequently broke planks and stones to demonstrate their prowess, while wrestlers sometimes stood on oiled shields and invited challengers to push them off--an act reminiscent of aikido and tai chi ch'uan adepts withstanding the combined force of several men by concentrating on their center of gravity.
What is also not generally known is that there existed in the ancient world an unarmed fighting art which not only compares favorably with later Asian systems, but as an event in the ancient Olympic Games was considered the truest test of an athlete's combative ability. This was the martial art known as pankration, a blend of Hellenic wrestling, boxing, strangulation, kicking and striking techniques, as well as joint locks. Indeed, the only practices not allowed in pankration were biting, gouging, or scratching -- all else were considered legal acts during competition.
As a word, pankration comes from the adjective pankrates, meaning "all encompassing" or "all powers." Its earliest reference occurs in 648 B. C., when it made its debut in the 33rd ancient Olympic Games, but its introduction into the Olympic program denotes that it had to have become a systematized art long before this date. In short order it became the most popular event of every Greek athletic festival, including the Olympics, usually climaxing the festival following boxing and wrestling.

The Numenius Factor
Alexandria, Egypt, 203 AD.

"Let’s now briefly outline Plato’s creation scheme as we did before. You’ll recall that Pythagoras claimed Three Supernals: Monad, Dyad, and Triad, which are represented by the point, line, and plane (triangle). In Plato they are also called Existence, Sameness, Difference [Tim.35], Mother, Father, Offspring [Tim.50], Form, Copy, Space (receptacle) [Tim.52], or Being, Becoming, Space [Tim.52]. Call them what you will: Grandfather, Father, Son. I call them God, mind, and soul, since man is a microcosm possessing a godhead (monad), mind, and soul like the universe. Thus we have a series of Ones: God, mind, and soul to which we also add matter (body) and ether (spirit)-matter because we recognize creation, and ether because we recognize something above matter, but which is not quite soul. So we’ve fulfilled the Pythagorean Tetraktys: Monad, Dyad, Triad, and Tetrad, to which we’ve now also added the Pentad. These five represent godhead, mind, soul, spirit, and body (matter). So now we’ve also fulfilled the five kingdoms traced out in Plato’s Timaeus [Tim.53, et al]: earth, water, air, fire, and spirit. These elements (stoicheia) are created through the point (Monad), line (Dyad), and triangular plane (Triad), since triangles can be doubled, creating our five solids. In Empedocles, these five kingdoms are the four roots (rhizomes) plus the daimon (spirit).
"Now Plato mentions three parts of the soul, whence Homer who mentioned menos (liver), thymos (heart), and psyche (head). Plato calls them ’wheels of the soul’ (kykloi tees psyche). Listen to Plato: ’They copied the shape of the universe and fastened the two divine orbits of the soul into a spherical body which we call the head...and which acts as a convenient vehicle (ochema) [Tim.44].’
"Numenius continued, "Now remembering that Plato Pythagorizes and Pythagoras Platonizes, Plato calls these two circles in the head the ’Same’ and ’Different’, after Pythagoras’ Monad and Dyad, or Limit and Limitlessness. Thus altogether we now have: 1. same (Monad, halo above the head, godhead)2. different (Dyad, intellect, higher soul, our head) 3. thymos (Triad, our heart, lower soul)4. menos (Tetrad, stomach, spiritual vehicle, ’pneumatikon ochema’)5. sarx (Pentad, ’flesh’ body, matter)
However, we will do better if talk about these parts of the soul as ochemata (vehicles or chariots) as Plato does. Thus we now have:1. monad (monoides ochema, unit body, dodecahedron, essence, representing Pythagoreans)2. augoid (augoides ochema, light body, icosahedron, mind, representing Platonists)3. asteroid (asteroides ochema, astral body, octahedron, passions, representing Stoics)4. etheroid (etheroides ochema, etheric body, cube, desires, representing Epicureans)5. sarkoid (sarkoides ochema, flesh body, pyramid, flesh, representing Aristotelians)
Now the Christians claim a psychic body (soma psychikon), spirit body (soma pneumatikon), and glorified body (soma doksikon), whence the Jewish nephesh (ghost) and ruach (spirit, or pneuma). Again, call them what you like, but it still doesn’t describe man’s godhead, the monad. Though it’s double-talk, one text of the Gangarides (Taittriya Up. 5.2) mentions not only this godhead, but also 4 other vehicles, called mayas or forms-in other words, Plato’s ochemata. Thus and so:1. anandamaya (joyful body)2. vijananamaya (higher mind)3. manamaya (lower mind)4. pranamaya (breath body)5. annamaya (food body)
Pneuma-what the Gangarides call prana-is the subtle breath (lepton pneuma) which Plato says courses throughout our bodies giving us life (Tim. 78), whence Empedocles who claimed that man thinks with his blood, which is to say with his heart. But the monad has a body (soma) too. I call it the flower of the intellect since it’s poised above the mind, as the One poised above Nous, and appears as a halo (halon) above the head. Not to be confused with the light body (augoid), this flower of the intellect is something greater in power, yet smaller in stature. It looks much like a white flower with a stem (axon, or axis) trailing below it, which is the silver cord of Solomon that is broken at death.
"Listen again to Plato: ’Our divine part (monad) attaches us by the head to heaven like a plant by its roots [Tim.90]’. Now, invisibly attached to this cord, or floral stem, are the lower wheels of the soul, like round petiole leaves. In addition, each monad is connected to its neighbours by 4 petals or limbs (dendron), which, along with the head, equals five parts. This eternal connection constitutes the true sympatheia of the universe. I haven’t found these wheels, this flower, or this stem described anywhere else other than in Plato."

The Parts of the Soul

This essay resulted from an attempt to find a Greek system of “energy centers” corresponding to the chakras of Eastern philosophy. Such a correspondence would help illuminate Greek mysticism and reveal some of the foundations of the Western Magical Tradition. This goal might seem to be a shallow exercise in analogies, but there are reasons to expect a substantial correspondence. First, the Eastern and Greek systems evolved out of a common Indo-European culture, so one would expect genetic correspondences; these connections were likely maintained over the millennia, since we know the Middle East mediated continual cultural transfer with both the West and East. Second, there is a certain degree of objectivity in the system of chakras, as reflected in the physical body, which would lead to correspondences even in the absence of cultural contact. The consequence of these two factors is a significant uniformity in ideas about the Spirit and its connection to the Body across the Eurasian continent, and even beyond, as documented, for example, in Onians’s Origins of European Thought.

How would we know a Greek system of chakras if we saw it? The standard I have used is that (1) they should be approximately seven energy centers; (2) they should be approximately located where the chakras are located; (3) they should have approximately the same “functions” as the chakras.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the chakra system best known in the West, with seven chakras, is not the only system; some have more than fourteen (Eliade, 243-5; Murphy, 156). Therefore, we should not expect an exact correspondence of number, since certain energy centers might or might not be counted depending on their strength or the “kind” of energy they concentrate. Furthermore, different systems differ in their exact placement of the chakras, so likewise we should not expect an exact correspondence in a Greek system. Nevertheless, it will be apparent that the Greek system corresponds closely to the system of seven chakras.

My principal source has been Onians, especially Part I and Part II (chh. 1-7), but the overall structure is described in Plato’s account of the “Parts of the Soul” in the Timaeus (69c-73d), which probably embodies Pythagorean doctrine. In the following I’ve numbered the energy centers from the top down with Roman numerals, since this accords better with Platonic doctrine; however, the chakras are conventionally numbered from the bottom up, for which I’ve (appropriately) used Hindu numbers (so-called Arabic numbers).

No. English Greek Latin Function Chakra No.

I Crown Koruphe Vertex Illumination Sahasrara 7
II Brain Enkephalos Cerebrum Intellection Ajna 6
III Neck Trachelos Collum Purification Visuddha 5
IV Heart/Lungs Phrenes Cor Affection Anahata 4
V Belly Gaster Abdomen Appetition Manipura 3
VI Gonads Gonades Genitalia Procreation Svadhisthana 2
VII Sacrum Hieron Osteon Os Sacrum Basic Life Muladhara 1

Using Ancient Greek Music for Care of the Soul:
Hê Mousikê Therapeia

The ancient Pythagoreans used music as a means of curing and caring for the soul, as we read in biographies of Pythagoras (e.g., Iamblichus' Pyth. Way of Life, ch. 25, in Guthrie, 84-5). In one case, a young man was about to burn down the house of an unfaithful girlfriend. Pythagoras realized that he was being agitated excessively by the music played nearby, and so he told the musician to play in a different mode, which immediately calmed the young man. In another case, the Pythagorean sage Empedocles was visiting the home of a judge who had condemned a man to death. The man's son rushed in with a drawn sword, intent on killing the judge, but Empedocles sang an enchantment that diverted the son from his rash purpose and saved his host. The Pythagoreans also used music in less extreme circumstances. For example, special melodies were used at night to calm their minds and to ensure peaceful sleep and good dreams, and others were used in the morning to bring alertness. Some of these were wordless "vowel chants," as will be explained below. In general they used enchanting music whenever they needed to alter the state of their own or others' souls.
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby mague » Mon May 04, 2009 10:29 pm

seasmith wrote:~
Mague wrote:

... chakras of an entity are individual. I wasnt taught about them by humans, so my understanding might be a bit different.

May i inquire, who taught you ?


Hello Seasmith,

to keep it simple lets just say this knowledge is out of dreamtime.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby mague » Mon May 04, 2009 11:00 pm

StefanR wrote:
Mague wrote:Ok, thats the "earthly" part. I ll stop here and maybe post about the upper part later.

Below I have tried to make an as short as possible "earthly" part, and also the upper will be a little later, and perhaps after that the hellenic side as well

Hello StefanR,

interessting read. I recognized many similarities.

I wanted to add that there are different truths and we easily mix them up. It is like the layers of an onion or the layers of a rose blossom.

We exist on multiple layers. The chakras are on a non-physical layer, the chinese meridiens and acupuncture points are partly physical and partly non-physical.
There is no doubt that the blood holds information about our healths status but it is part of a physical layer, even though it holds traces of its deepers non-physical layer.

In a holistic view of the world there is no doubt about neuronal networks and functions in our brain. But within the chakra system this all is "just" Anja Chakra. Only one of many. Anja chakra is about perception. It is the pure and non-physical core that allows us to observe chi. Be it everydays life or vision or dream. Out of body experiences are a good example to show how our perception is working perfectly although our body and brain is damaged. Perception is possible without a biological brain. This is very valuable if we look at biological and non-biological "stuff". Monads do have perception just as plants and planets or ultimatively the universe itself.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby StefanR » Fri May 08, 2009 9:43 am

Mague wrote:I wanted to add that there are different truths and we easily mix them up. It is like the layers of an onion or the layers of a rose blossom.
Yes, I can see what you mean, in that sense too it is not so bad to be at least a little familiar with the differences and similarities of systems with the same function
We exist on multiple layers. The chakras are on a non-physical layer, the chinese meridiens and acupuncture points are partly physical and partly non-physical.
There is no doubt that the blood holds information about our healths status but it is part of a physical layer, even though it holds traces of its deepers non-physical layer.
I agree with that, personally I think for us Westerners the approach from a more physical layer might perhaps be the most clear approach, as westeners seem to associate easier with the physical body as a lot of actual knowledge of layers above that was indiginous to the west has been crushed and diluted by centuries of oppression and destruction by certain movements

In a holistic view of the world there is no doubt about neuronal networks and functions in our brain. But within the chakra system this all is "just" Anja Chakra. Only one of many. Anja chakra is about perception. It is the pure and non-physical core that allows us to observe chi. Be it everydays life or vision or dream. Out of body experiences are a good example to show how our perception is working perfectly although our body and brain is damaged. Perception is possible without a biological brain. This is very valuable if we look at biological and non-biological "stuff". Monads do have perception just as plants and planets or ultimatively the universe itself.
I'm not sure if I agree with what you say about the observation of qi/chi, personally I think one can observe it with the body too, just as one can observe a magnetic field around a current, so to say, it feels like that to me, chi/qi comes very close to electricity in sensation and function
Its what more or less also follows from what can be gleaned from the beginning of the tensegrity-thread
There is a probable relationship between the accupunture system and the overlooked functions of the fascia/connective tissue
Maybe the the below second half of the Taoism bit I wished to place here, makes it a little more clear that health related systems are but the approach to the first step to higher functions, which might be as you say more non-local and non-temporal
It comes back to Marsyas as in the beginning of the thread, what is dying more than just the process to become dead? ;)

(1) Qi and Qi Field
After qi of qigong has been trained and refined, it will become strong and be able to circulate inside the body, forming a certain "field' as that formed by the flow of electricity. It can exchange with, response to and activate qi in nature. Everyone has qi and his own qi field,, the individual difference lies in the degree of perception to qi and the amount of its energy. The direction, intensity and frequency of the fow of the internal and external qi influence the physiological activities of the human body all the time. There exists a regular system of internal qi within the human body, which is composed mainly by channels, collaterals and their points. This internal qi system is closely related to the thinking activities of the brain. Though it can not be observed by the eyes through anatomy as can be done for internal organs, nerves, muscles and other tissues under modern conditions of specific experiment, the shape, nature, rhythm, direction and intensity of this system as well as of the internal and external qi can be percieved by the qigong adept who is especially sensitive to perception of qi.

(2) The Circulation of Qi
Internal qi circulates in the channels and collaterals in the direction of the course of the Twelve Channels, being in order and interior-exteriorly related to them. Channels and collaterals are the passageways or routes by which the points per se, the points and internal organs, the internal organs and sense organs (eye, ear, nose, tongue, etc), and the internal organs per se are interlinked with each other.
Only by circulating along the channels and collaterals and linking with qi of the outside world through the skin and the points can the human qi play its natural role. The network consists of channels, collaterals and their affiliated parts such as tendon channels and skin zones. Through training of the three regulations, the internal qi will be able to circulate not only along the course of the channels, but also against them or along several channels at the same time toward one direction to one area and, inducting or being inducted by qi of the natural world, to form a qi field.
External qi refers to the outgoing internal qi emitted by the experience qigong practitioner under the control of his will. This kind of qi takes form and changes its shape, nature, circulating direction and frequency following the will of the practitioner.

(3) The Characteristics of Qi
Qi is a kind of substance existing all over the cosmos and in all animals and plants of the natural world. It is generated from and influenced by qi of Heaven and Earth.
Like the respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems, the system of qi has its own organizational structure and law of activity, bearing the responsibility of regulating the functions of the organs and tissues and the adaptibility to the outside environment of qi, so as to absorb qi beneficial to the human body and expel that harmful to it.
Qi has the nature of extending, disseminating, diffusing and flowing. It circulates endlessly and periodically.
When the outgoing-qi of the therapist acts on the channels and points of the patient, it can stimulate and cultivate the patients muscles and tissues to arouse movement and sensation.
When the frequency and nature of outgoin-qi are similar to those of the patients qi, resonance and synchonism may be triggered and the patients qi activities can be activated and regulated rapidly.
People vary in sensitivity to qi.
Qi of the human body can be controlled.

3 Spirit (Shen)
Spirit, or vitality, is a general term for the life processes of the human body. It refers to the appearance of mentality, consciousness and the external conditions of essence (jing) and vital energy (qi) of the internal organs.

4 The Relationship between Essence, Vital Energy, and Spirit and qigong Practice
The concepts of essence, vital energy, and spirit are different, but, they are inter-linked and mutual promotive. Of the three, essence is fundamental, vital energy is motive and spirit is dominant. The training and regulating of essence, vital energy and spirit are of great importance in qigong practice and outgoing-qi therapy. Specifically speaking, qigong practice is to train the acquired turbid essence, the perceptual spirit and the inhaled air in order to replenish the primordial so that life can be prolonged and diseases can be prevented and cured.

Chinese Qigong- Outgoing-Qi Therapy
By Bi Yongsheng and transl by Yu wenping/ John R Black
Shandong Science and Technology Press[/quote]

Taoism is a source of some of the world's oldest mind-body health and healing lore. Taoists often call their study the "science of essence and life" to represent their cultivation of those arts. The science of essence deals with mind,, the science of life deals with the body. Their object is to groom and enhance what Taoists call the three bases or three treasures of human existance Vitality, Energy and Spirit.

Vitality, energy, and spirit are envisioned as three centres of the individual and collective organism. Each centre is twofold,, there is a primal or abstract noumenon, and a temporal or concrete phenomenon. There are many differences in Taoist practices according to which aspect of what centre they are primarily designed to affect.

Vitality is primally associated with creativity, temporally associated with sexuality.
Energy is primally associated with movement, heat, and power, temporally associated with breath, magnetism, and strenght.
Spirit is primally associated with the essence of mind and consciousness, temporally associated with thought and reflection.
As the three centres interact, the quality and proportion of their mutual influence relate directly to the total state of mental and physical well-being.

In terms of the individual body, vitality is associated with the loins, energy with the thorax, and spirit with the brain. These associations are invoked in some forms of Taoist yoga, where the respective areas of the body are called the lower, middle, and upper fields of elixer. These fields are used to focus attention in healing, energizing, and meditative exercises.

Vitality, energy, and spirit can also be defined in terms of three bodies,, vitality is the flesh-and-blood body, energy is the electrical body within the flesh-and-blood body, and spirit is the ethereal body of consciousness within the electrical body. In yet another sense, vitality is the natural world, energy is the social world, and spirit is the psychological world.

There are many Taoist arts concerned with enhancing vitality, enrgy, and spirit. Included among them are sexual techniques for vitality, movements and exercises for energy, and meditations for the spirit. For historical and theoretical perspective on Taoism, therefore, it is useful to review each of the "fields of elixer" in terms of the modes of practice devised for their cultivation.


Taoist sexualogy is generally called the "bedroom art" in exoteric literature and "bedroom alchemy" in more specialized writings. Like other Taoist sciences, it is believed to have originally been articulated in antiquity.

Bedroom alchemy has always been among the most controversial Taoist practices, for sevral reasons. From a sociopolitical point of view, there was an aspect of the art that had powerful implications apart from simple enhancement of sexual intercourse for men and women. It has been said that traditional opposition of Confucian authorities to Taoist sexual arts is based on prudish or puritanical Confucian attitudes towards sex. It would appear most likely, however, that the real fears of Confucian authorities were socially and politically founded. Social and political questions were indeed the very foundation of Confucian moral thinking, and their position on Taoist bedroom arts was evidently rooted in these concerns.

Apart from the controversial "joining energy" rites, the bedroom arts also included a variety of techniques for individual couples, and for rites involving a man and two or more women. Taoists expressed their own reservations about sexual alchemy, but these reservations were founded on a different basis from those of Confucian orthodoxy. The concerns of the Taoists were the dangers arising from ignorant misuse, excess, and lack of appropriate preparation, context, and self-mastery before taking up the practice of sexual alchemy.

From the third and fourth centuries onward, taoism was increasingly influenced by Buddhism, which began to filter into China near the end of the Han dynasty. Following Buddhist models, Taoists composed scriptures, organized churches, and ordained clergy. Unlike the celibate Buddhist clergy, however, the Taoist clergy could marry and carry on the traditional art of bedroom alchemy as part of its religious observances.

The most influential of the Sung dynasty neo-Taoist movements, the Ch'uan-chen (Quanzhen) or Complete Reality school, took a reserved approach to bedroom alchemy for the cultivation of vitality. Generaly speaking, the Northern branch of the school, known as the sect of clear serenity, recommends moderation in sexual activity and does not speak deliberately practicing sexual yoga for energizing the body or healing sickness. In contrast to this, the Southern branch of the school, known as the sect of dual cultivation or grafting, is said to use sexual yoga for revitalization of the physical body.


Energy work is probably the most popular aspect of Taoism in both East and West, particularly through the widespread use of exercise systems such as t'ai-chi-ch'uan (taijiquan) and therapeutic techniques such as accupressure and massage. The practice of special exercises for health and longevity is extremely ancient in China, and many different forms and styles developed over the course of centuries.

As early as Chuang-tzu, the famous Taoist classic of the fourth century bce, mention is made of life-prolonging exercises generically known as tao-yin (daoyin), or "(energy) induction". The point emphasized by Chuang-tzu in this connection, however, is that these exercises have a limited scope.
One of the greatest names in the history of Taoist energy work was a leading physician of the late Han dynasty named Hua T'o (Hua To), who lived from 141 to 203 ce, near the very end of the dynasty, when interest in Taoism was beginning to resurge from beneath the veneer of orthodox Confucianism ruling China, and inventor of a popular system known as the "play of the five animals".
Another type of exercise, based on a kind of shadowboxing, and later associated with martial arts, is attributed to an Indian Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma, who is believed to have come to China as a missionary in the late fifth or early sixth century ce. Bodhidharma is traditionally considered the founder of Chinese Ch'an Buddhism, which is known for its absorbtion of classical Taoism and influence on later neo-Taoism. Bodhidharma supposedly introduced his exercise system to monks specializing in meditation, in order to keep the body from deteriorating from log vigils in absolute stillness. He is also associated with other forms of exercise commonly used by Taoist, the hsi-sui-ching (xisuijing) or "course in washing the marrow", and the i-chin-ching (iyinjing) or "course in easing the sinews".
Another popular type of exercise, called pa-tuan-chin (baduanjin) or "eight step brocade" is said said to have been originated by one of the great neo-Taoist wizards, Chung-li Ch'uan (Zhongli Quan) of the T'ang dynasty (618-905).
Perhaps the most famous of all Taoist exercise systems, t'ai-chi-ch'uan or "absolute boxing", is also traditionally associated with the powerful and influential school of Complete Reality.
T'ai-chi-ch'uan is said to have been invented by Chang San-feng (Zhang Sanfeng), one of the most popular figures of Taoist legend. Besides his fame as the external material alchemy and internal spiritual alchemy, and also is credited with the development or elaboration of other programs, including mental, physical, and psychosomatic exercises.

Health and longevity exercises seem to have been penetrated and permeated the fabric of Chinese custom more than any other aspect of Taoism. Modern works from Communist China on ch'i-kung (qigong, "energy work" or "energetics") preserve many elements of traditional Taost (and Buddhist) mind-body hygienics, albeit from a typically mechanical and materialistic point of view, stripped of metaphysical and religious concepts and vocubulary .
Although the political and intellectual biases of communism prejudice understanding of the mind-body relationship and do not admit of certain Taoist-Buddhist perceptions and experiences of that relationship
, nevertheless the practice of Taoist therapeutics would seem to be an indelible mark of Chinese culturse regardless of the temporal intellectual orthodoxy or otherwise of taoist thought.


Taoist mental exercises for grooming the spirit generally involve some sort of meditation or contemplation. The practices fall into two basic categories,, those that employ defined objects or images, and those without defined objects or images. In early Taoist literature predating the entry of Buddhism into China, explicit references to meditation suggest great simplicity of technique. As the Buddhist presence in China grew to massive proportions in the centuries following the fall of the Han dynasty in 220 ce , the elaborate mental science of Buddhism stimulated the articulation and development of parallel methods in taoism.

Although the use of imagery and visualization in Taoist meditation seems to have been ancient precedents, it would appear that the popularity of this particular type of exercise in Taoism is largely due to the influence of Buddhism, which is very rich in practices involving visualization and deliberate cultivation of the imagination. On the whole, the use of such practices by Taoists seems to focus on several categories of phenomena. There are many visualizations involving stars, clouds, and vast distances,, occult dramas whose imagenary enactment within the body is structured to induce specific states of mind,, and images of exemplary people of myth and history associated with special knowledge or attainments.
There are also special contemplation stories that illustrate, and help prepare the mind for, unfamiliar uses of consciousness.

The Complete Reality subordination of visualization as a temporal expedient is articulated in a famous document claiming to record the teachings given by Chung-li Ch'uan to Ancester Lu.
Ancestor Lu asks Chung-li about the principle of "inward gazing", by which is meant visualization of special images in the mind and body. The master wizard replies,

The method of sitting forgetting [the outside world] while gazing inward and sustaining images was used by some sages and not by others. Considering how the mind and thoughts run and jump around ceaselessly, the ancient sages feared that the will would be lost because of objects, so they set up images in the midst of nothingness, to cause the ears not to hear, the eyes not to see, the mind not to go wild, and the thought not to ramble. In such cases, visualization of phenomena in inward gazing while sitting forgetting is indispensable. Unfortunately, ignorant people of little learning who don't understand the process expect visualization to accomplish the work, and they form the alchemical elixir in their minds and cull the medicine in their imaginations. This is why outstanding adepts tear down sitting forgetting with inward gazing at a certain point, saying that materials gotten in a dream cannot be used in actuality, as a picture of a cake cannot satisfy hunger. Nevertheless, there are those who should use this method, namely those who are easily stirred and have trouble controlling their minds.

The text also includes general descriptions of imagery used in visualization practice, then leads into the process of transcending this phase of meditation,,

The rising of yang is often visualized as a man, a dragon, sky, clouds, a crane, the sun, a horse, smoke, mist, a car, a chariot, a flower, or energy. Images such as these are held in inward agzing to correspond to the image of yang rising.
The descending of yin is often visualized as a woman, a tiger, water, earth, rain, a tortoise, the moon, a cow, a spring, mud, a boat, or a leaf. Images such as these are held in inward gazing to correspond to the image of yin descending.
There are also such images as a blue dragon, white tiger, red sparrow, dark warrior, five mountains, nine states , four seas, three islands, the gold man and the jade woman, the waterwheel, or the multistoried tower. There are innumerable such terms, all images set up in nothingness as means of stabilizing consciousness.
Before the purpose is achieved, the means is necessary, the cart that goes afterward must go in the tracks of the cart that goes before, and when a great instrument is completed it will be a model for later instruments. So the practice of iward gazing cannot be neglected. Also, one should not hold to it for a long time and stop it suddenly.
If you cease thought and have no conceptions, this is true thought. True thought is true emptiness. The realm of true emptiness is the gradual way of transcendence, leaving the city of darkness and going to the court of reality.

Mental posture, or the disposition of the spirit, is also an important element in exercises primarely associated with the development of vitality and energy. The most advanced form of sexual yoga, for example, is said to be completely mental. The variuos kinds of energetics also include specific points of mental focus or patterns of mental exercise to go along with the physical movements. Visualization is used not only in training the mind but in healing the body, and even the most abstract formless meditation states are also esteemed for their value in restoration and maintainance of physical health. Thus there are ultimately no rigid bounderies along the domains of vitality, energy, and spirit,, they are in fact regarded as originally one, and it is an aim of Taoist praxis to reunify them into a harmoniuos whole.

Complete Reality Taoism draws a distinction between the primal and temporal manifestations of the three treasures. In this case, greater emphasis is placed on the grooming the primal vitality, energy, and spirit. According to the theoretical basis of the praxis, the primal unity of these centers can be restored by a process decribed as refining vitality into energy and refining energy into spirit. This stage of unification is called "the three flowers gathered on the peak". From there, spirit is refined into emptiness, and emptiness is broken through to unite with the Tao, whereupon the practitioner is "mentally and physically sublimated".

Sayings – Ancester Lu

The Three Treasures

The human body is only vitality, energy, and spirit. Vitality, energy, and spirit are called the three treasures. Ultimate sagehood and noncontrivance are both attained from these. Few people know these three treasures, even by way of their temporal manifestations. What is inconceivable is their primordial state – is it not lost? If you lose these treasures, you are incapable of noncontrivance, and so are unaware of the primordial.


In heaven, vitality is the Milky Way, it is the light of the sun, moon, and stars, it is rain and dew, sleet and hail, snow and frost. On earth it is water, streams, rivers, oceans, springs, wells, ponds, and marshes. In people it is vitality, the root of essence and life, the body of blood and flesh.


In heaven, energy is substance and form, yin and yang, the movement of the sun, moon, and stars, the processes of waxing and waning, it is clouds, mist, fog, and moisture, it is the heart of living beings, evolution and development. On earth, it is power, fuel, the pith of myriad beings, the source of mountain streams, it is lifegiving and killing, activating and storing, it is the passage of time, flourishing and decline, rising and falling, sprouts and sprout sheaths. In humans it is energy, physical movement, activity, speech, and perception, it is use of the body, the gateway of death and lifegiving.


In heaven, spirit is the pivot, the true director, the silent mover, it is the essence of thesun, moon, and stars, it is the wind blowing, thunder pealing, it is compassion and dignity, it is force of creation, the basis of the origin of beings. On earth, it is ability, communion, opening, it is the shapes of myriad species, mountains and waters, it is peace and quietude, the source of stability , it is calm, warmth, and kindness. In humans, it is spirit, the light in the eyes, thought in the mind, it is wisdom and intelligence, innate knowledge and capacity, it is govenment of vitality en energy, awareness and understanding, it is the basis of the physical shell, the foundation of the life span.

Stabilizing Vitality

The three treasures are not easily obtained. Since they are not easy to obtain, how can we not take care of them? They are to be taken care of, and this is accomplished by purity and tranquillity, not agitating the vitality, not letting it leak, so that it abides peacefully in its original home, true to reality as it is, circulating three hunderd and sixtyone times in a day and night, returning to its original home, true to its own nature, immutable, forming the stabilizing ingredient of the elixir of immortality.

Guarding Energy

Vitality is always controlled by energy. Once enregy runs outside, vitality eventually leaks outstanding. Therefore, to stabilize vitality one should guard the energy. How is energy guarded? This requires freedom from craving, clear openness and serenity, not acting impulsively. The energy is to be placed in the mysterious pass, where it is brought to be nurtured and calmed. Always free, the energy is then unified, whoile, unfragmented, all-pervasive, without gaps. After the energy is thus developed, it is brought down to merge with the vitality, unobstructed, like water and milk blending into one. The medicinal ingredients of the great elixir are naturally completed. Now just add the firing, and the effect will appear in the crucible

Preserving Spirit

The firing is the spirit. Vitality cannot be concentrated except by energy, but vitality and energy cannot be operated without the spirit to stabilize the vitality, and nurturing the energy is just a matter of preserving the spirit. In the work of preserving spirit, it is important to stop ruminition, with nothing coming out from within and nothing coming in from outside. With all signs of emotion gone, one plunges into a state of boundlessness, lightness, blissful fluidity, tranquil independence.

Emergence of the Spirit

When the spirit is preserved inthis way, it abides in its chamber. The chamber of the spirit is in the alchemical storehouse.
Once the alchemical storehouse is firmly secured, the spirit is calm and collected, controlling and operating the vitality and energy, thereby it crystallizes the great elixir, which is in the form of an infant resembling oneself. This then emerges from the forehead to travel the universe , in the interval of an exhalation and inhalation, it travels unhindered through the ten directions, inconceivable serene and content. If you stick to this, however, and do not hear of the Great Way or meet Real People, you will be affected by three calamities. Then if you do not awaken, the accomplishment that has been achieved will all go to waste.

The Taoist Classics vol III - the collected translations
Thomas Cleary -- Shambala Publications
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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Re: symbolism, modern and past psychology

Unread postby mague » Sun May 10, 2009 11:39 pm


StefanR wrote:
Mague wrote: Anja chakra is about perception. Monads do have perception just as plants and planets or ultimatively the universe itself.
I'm not sure if I agree with what you say about the observation of qi/chi, personally I think one can observe it with the body too, just as one can observe a magnetic field around a current, so to say, it feels like that to me, chi/qi comes very close to electricity in sensation and function

Everything is chi ;) Whatever you observe, it is chi and you can only observe/sense because there is an anja chakra. I know, anja is part of the heaven and not that easy to recognize.


There is no beauty, no waves and no patterns. There are only large and small rocks. What we experience is the creator of the garden, not the sand and rocks.

If we look at the garden as space with 3D coordinates, just like the universe, then at any position in this space there is either a grain of sand or not. Yin or yang or in modern words either a 1 or 0. But the whole space is filled with chi. The only difference is the state of chi. On a more realistic level the 3dimensional matrices ofc. build cells, flowing energy, blue eyes or zen gardens ;)

StefanR wrote:There is a probable relationship between the accupunture system and the overlooked functions of the fascia/connective tissue

There has to be a relation, its holistic and one body ;) Its just not always easy to recognize it. Its the nature of tensegrity, its complex and often not predictable.
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